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>> good morning. welcome to mosaic. it's a joy and a privilege to host mosaic. on behalf of our team, i'm excited about our guest this morning. if you have not had a chance, go out and purchase the auto biography. i would like to read four paragraphs of our guests this morning. i want to read one to give you an idea. there was the sermon declared by johnson the third, glad celebrations are overseen by a
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ministry team oversee by cecil. delivering the sunday this morning is the handsomely and charming, the language of the street, the language of scripture. he talked about theu knit possible, diversity. he talked about how the presidential race barely mentioned poverty, and then he told a story that seemed to encompass everything that is core about god. we welcome thoen johnson,iii. >> i'm a may tiff mississippian. i'm proud of that. i had a wonderful growing up in the community. the community of canton,
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mississippi. >> okay. i went to school, both public school as well as my undergraduate studies in mississippi. >> uh-huh. >> left to do my graduate work in seminary in washington, d.c. deferred a bachelor program to come back and do work in mississippi. i wanted to talk about the intersection of privilege, poverty and politics. and so because religion, politics, money are not the most important conversations to bring up around the dinner table, i knew that i would have a colorful experience, if you would, coming back home to address these challenges. >> i see. the sacred or the spiritual and the secular in the streets and the scriptures. >> absolutely. >> that's what you try to combine in your sermon.
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>> that's correct. making connections between not only the ideals that can be lifted into the rafters but make them make sense in people's lived experience. to talk about things that really matter is what i believe life is about. faith traditions at their best do the work of inviting people to reflect on losty ideals of making them make sense in their lived experience. >> i like that. >> so it's been very great to come back home early on, right after my time at wesley. >> uh-huh. >> and to eventually learn about an opportunity at glide, to come in and serve in the community. >> how did you come to hear about glide? >> very grateful for the gift of connectionallism that is offered within the methodist church. glide is part of a larger group
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of folk who are committed to doing the work of justice, to being an agent of grace, god's grace, and to also doing the work of inviting people into relationships. because of involvement on the general church level. >> uh-huh. >> glide was very much a part of the conversations for advancing justice. >> okay. >> i was very much a part of rou sing, to invite people to talk about faith and politics and religion in our world today. >> uh-huh. >> and upon learning of an opportunity to explore expanding the pastoral team, apparently my name was floated multiple times. they say who shall we bring? and people said, hey, have you
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heard of thoen. i'm grateful that my name was mentioned. >> you didn't say why don't we look for someone else? >> no. i was the person deemed worthy of regard for that gift and for that opportunity. i've been very grateful. and so upon learning of an opportunity to serve. >> uh-huh. >> i was invited outlast march. >> okay. >> early april to connect with the community, to serve, to speak on sunday morning and to connect with the community. >> let's hear more about that in the sex segment. >> thank you very much. >> thanks for being here. >> thank you for allowing me to be here. >> we're talking to revernd johnson iii, pastor at glide.
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>> we have reverend johnson who has been here almost a year. >> yes. almost a year. i'm coming into my 11th month. i am excited to come into the bay area community. >> you have been quite busy. tell us what has happened in the last couple of weeks. you told us that you were quite busy with what is going on. >> this has been an intense time, not only in the glide community, the san francisco area, larger bay area, but also our nation. we have been at the forefront of conversations concerning everything from issues of marriage equality -- >> uh-huh -- with doma and prop 8 to reflexes on challenges --
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reflection, and the trial on george zimmerman. we have announced the importance of thinking about justice and standing up and having serious conversations about tough issues. >> where has that taken you in the community? to speak in different engagements and different community gathering? >> absolutely. these conversations have taken us to the streets which is where glide loves to be, right in the community. >> uh-huh. >> from protests and rallies to demonstrations to town hall gatherings. we have found ourselves right in the thick of the conversation. and we have done so as a glide community with great joy. and it's been my unique, distinct privilege and honor to be very much present in the middle of those conversations. >> that's great.
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that's great. one of the things that i discovered about glide is that it's about celebration and it's about liberation. >> absolutely. >> the worship experience with a great glide ensemble lived on for the 30 years and then the liberation i say it that way, the programs. >> right. >> tell us a little bit about the programs and what they're doing. >> absolutely. we maintain a commitment to understanding the idea of inviting people to life, to living well. >> uh-huh. >> it's not only about addressing spirituality but providing people with the resources that they need in order to have a life, live a life very much that is dignifying and dignified. >> uh-huh. >> so the programs that we have are comprehensive in care.
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from health care to recovery circles to our commitment to housing, providing affordable housing, helping somebody. >> right. >> to addressing substance abuse, the programs, expand the gamut of the human experience and invite people to, again, celebrate life and pick themselves up in community. >> that's great. i remember staff was at that time when i was there in the '90s maybe less than 50. i read recently in the book that it's 175. >> absolutely. >> is it still growing? >> we have grown by leaps and bounds because the needs in the community have grown by leaps and bounds. living in the tension of addressing the immediate needs of our most vulnerable neighbors and inviting those persons to get on their feet,
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to experience life, and ultimately to assist us in being the change agents so we can recognize, there is a need because the needs have been addressed because those systems that be that have caused people to be unable to experience life have indeed been ereradicatetd. >> how is the food program going. >> we serve almost a misdemeanor meals a year. the food program is one of the most important entry points for our community into the glide community. we recognize that if people do not have a decent meal, a
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healthy meal, that they may be unable to live into the fullness of their potential. to be able to care for people by providing them with basic meals, with great food, is a great -- >> and great volunteers from all over. >> from the bay area and around the globe. we have thousands of volunteers that come in every year who assist us really, a small staff, 170 plus. >> uh-huh. >> in doing this large work of caring well for communities fair greater than our own staff. >> it so happens that this coming sunday is the lawrence prayer -- the lord's prayer. i think that's what i hear in what you do there. >> absolutely. we try to do this work every single day. >> uh-huh. >> of as we invite people to be forgiven, to be led, to always focus on the gift of us.
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>> uh-huh. >> which is highlighted. it's about us. and together in community, we can be far greater than we can be apart. >> i see. i see. tell us a little bit about the diversity of the community. that's probably one of the strong points too. >> it's very much a strong point. if you walk into glide any day, you will see san francisco. >> uh-huh. >> black, brown, yellow, green, purple or any other color of the rainbow, you'll find it there. gay straight, transgender or questioning or some other beautiful part of the rainbow, you will find it there. glide is a place that invites people to show up with all of who they are, whatever that may be. and we do the work of affirming them and their humanity in order that those people will be able to experience not only that they are loved, but they
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are indeed agents of grace. >> tell us how that works in the next segment. >> look forward to it. >> okay. please join us. i know you're enjoying your time we are having in this conversation with theon.
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>> we left off talking about diversity. and it's been suggested to us, what about the -- let's say the wealthy and the technical people that come to san francisco, are they a part of glide too? what do you think? >> absolutely. there is space within our glide community for every person, every experience, every perspective. >> uh-huh. >> everybody shows up at glide with all of who they are and all of who they may not be.
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it's welcomed and celebrated. so from persons who sleep right outside of our doors. >> uh-huh. >> to those that sleep across the street at the hilton, $1,000 hotel rooms, to those who live in marin county and elsewhere in the bay area that have very, very large names, they are welcome at glide. >> and of course they have done movies at glide. they had the pursuit of happiness. >> absolutely. >> with will smith. the fellow from there went on to be a millionaires. i know a number of millionaires. who is the most prominent ones. >> we have from our community people who sleep out on the streets to warren buffet who is a great member and supporter of the glide community and everyone in between. it's a community of everybody. you can find a snapshot of san
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francisco when you walk into glide. everybody has a place there. so from our linkedin and twitter community, facebook executives and employees, to folks who say i'm none of those, can i show up? absolutely. of course. come on. we need you in order that we might be more fully the people, the community that we're called to be, which is the beloved community. >> what do you think is the draw because people come from such diverse backgrounds. >> people wonder is it really possible to be different together? is it really possible to experience unity and diversity. can i show up with all of my gifts and graces, all of my short comings and be accepted? and again, we say yes.
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and when people show up and see a beautiful spectrum of people and personalities, gifts and graces, needs, desires, they say, oh, yes, this is that place. >> i like that. >> that i have thought about. that i have hoped for, that i have dreamed about. it's in this community. it's not perfect. >> uh-huh. >> but it is. because everybody is here and is able to show up with all of who they are. >> unconditional acceptance. >> unconditional love and acceptance. absolutely. >> there's about four or five paragraphs on you in this great biography. it goes on to talk about the light, everyone comes to glide, there's a light on. >> right. >> tell us about that. you alluded to it already. >> i love the beacon that glide is for our community. >> uh-huh. >> when i often times think about persons who may approach
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those in need, especially at night, some may ask for money, some may want food. what i really think people want in the darkness of night is a reassurance that a morning is coming, that there is a new dawn. >> that's good. >> that is there a future with hope for me. and what glide tries to do every single day is serve as a beacon of light for those who are lost in the darkness, to say you have a home. you're not alone. there's a community that is willing and ready to embrace all of who you are. and you know what, we do that from feeding you to housing you and providing you with health care, to providing you with soul nourishment. we do that for all of who you are. >> did you know any of that
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when you were in mississippi and learning about glide or did you learn about it here. >> i learned it when landing with glide. glide is a beacon of light, if you will, for its commitment to the community, for its commitment to go to the margins. that's where we as a community, we as a church, we as a people of faith and good will are called to go, always to the margins of our society. if we're living behind the margins, it's been said that we're probably taking up too much space. so we try to stay at the margins. >> some of your background is music also. >> absolutely. >> tell us about your music background. >> i have always loved music. grew up in a church that had a wonderful choir, great musicians. and i always loved the ability of music to connect people, to provide people with a common language.
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i believe that music actually is the common language. >> uh-huh. >> we can't all talk together, but we can all sing together. >> so you play the piano. >> i play the piano. >> do you sing? you know what, in the shower. i would rather just play the piano and hum along. not much of a soloist. >> with the glide ensemble, you don't necessarily have to sing. >> right. i can celebrate and just move my lips and let the great voices of the glide ensemble and band direct us. >> glide chose a great person to be associate factor there. please join us in the last segment as theon johnson ii from glide memorial.
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>> if you've been listening to reverend theon, you know he is grounded in the scriptures and the streets. what is some of your background that allows for that to happen? >> again, grew up in mississippi. one of the poor states in the union. went away to washington, d.c. at the height of our nation's public policy making. a very affluent area. came back to mississippi to an poverty community and eventually came to the bay, a mix of affluent people. what i found is all of those experiences along the way prepared me to encounter people, all people. >> uh-huh. >> in their height and in their lowest moments. and the gift that is offered is
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the ability to recognize at our very best, our highest gift, our highest grace is to love and be loved and to serve and be served and recognize commonalities that bind us together are far greater than the differences that push us apart. >> that's great. i think that's one of the things that angelus said, we have more in common than uncommon and the common ground that thurman talks about. you understand it well. that's a great gift that you have given them as well as the gift this community has probably given you. >> absolutely. it's been a give and a receive. and i'm grateful for the privilege to have at this juncture in the history of glide to have landed here. again, it is the experiences. the experiences are those that have provided me the space to show up with all of who i am in
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the community. and hopefully to announce a timely and relevant word that will invite people to embrace justice, to embrace loving well, to embrace going to the margins. because there we find life in its rawest form which is its most beautiful form. >> that's great. brother, keep on keeping on as they say. >> i sure will. >> thank you for being on the show. >> thank you. >> you've been a great guest. >> it's been great to be here. >> the art critic doing a victorian era said that when love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. when love is skill work together, expect a masterpiece. well, there's a masterpiece going on with glide with cecil and january us and their -- jan and their ministry. it's just a masterpiece of
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service and love and justice. and now they have reverend theon johnson iii. glad you joined us. blessed to see you all. i'm ron fisher. so... [ gasps ] these are sandra's "homemade" yummy, scrumptious bars. hmm? maybe. rich chocolate chips... i just wanted you to eat more fiber. and then the awards started coming in, and i became addicted to the fame. topped with chocolaty drizzle... and fraudulence. i'm in deep, babe. you certainly are. [ male announcer ] fiber one. fiber beyond recognition. try new fiber one peanut butter protein bars.
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>> welcome to bay sunday. we have a big show for you this sunday. if you have a show idea, we would love to hear from you. go to and we will take care of you. he is an actor, singer, dancer, double tony winner. if he is not on broadway, he is on tv. he is a spokesperson for type 2 diabetes and performing at jazz fest. >> i want to thank -- for having the

CBS August 11, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT

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